The good times couldn't get much better for Toyota trucks this week as the automaker lands its first-ever SEMA award for its mid-size Tacoma and a Truck of Texas award for its all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra.
First came the news of the SEMA award on Monday which marks a couple of firsts both for SEMA and Toyota. The popular tradeshow’s newly minted Mid-Size Truck of the Year award went to the Tacoma while the Sport Compact of the Year award went to the Toyota GR Supra. It’s the first time Toyota has claimed top honors at SEMA and they got it for two vehicles!
Icing on the cake came when the Texas Auto Writers Association awarded Toyota its prestigious Truck of Texas award at the annual Texas Truck Rodeo event at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas near Austin.
This year’s Texas Truck Rodeo brought together 44 journalists to evaluate automakers’ latest trucks and SUVs on an off-road course in the Texas Hill Country. Vehicles from the world’s top manufacturers were evaluated on interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal. The Tundra ran the rugged course, leaving its competitors trailing in the competition.
"The Texas Auto Writers Association Truck of Texas award is a prestigious honor and there's no doubt the 2022 Toyota Tundra roared in with the intention to impress," said TAWA President Kristin Shaw.
"TAWA journalists had the privilege of driving the brand-new Tundra on- and off-road at the same time as the national launch,” Shaw continued. “By the end of the Texas Truck Rodeo, our members' votes were loud and clear: the 2022 Tundra is a winner."
Built on a new fully boxed chassis and equipped with a new multilink rear suspension, the Tundra offers a maximum tow rating of 12,000 pounds and a max payload of 1,940 pounds.
Two new i-Force powertrains, one a hybrid, take the place of all previous engine options including the long-lived and popular 5.7-liter V8. The i-FORCE 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 offers 389 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. torque while the hybrid 3.5-liter i-FORCE MAX offers 437 horses and 583 lb.-ft. torque. Both variants are bolted to a new 10-speed automatic. For those keeping score—and who doesn’t?—the outgoing 5.7 lags behind with 381 horses and 401 lb.-ft. torque.
The 2022 Tundra arrives in December 2021 with a host of new features to accompany the new chassis and powertrains including available Multi-Terrain Select (MTS), Crawl Control (CRAWL) and selectable rear locker. The all-new multimedia system is designed for a user-friendly experience with a 14-inch touchscreen and new voice activated technology.
The 2022 Tundra offers new towing technology through sensors and cameras which assist drivers to connect a trailer through Straight Path Assist which helps keep the truck in a straight line when backing up. Additional new interior features include a panoramic moonroof, a tailored cabin, the available fan-favorite power vertical rear window and an available 12.3-inch digital instrument panel for the driver.